Lecturer wins award for development of anti-racist teaching practice

Friday, 25 June 2021

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An Oxford Brookes University lecturer is a winner in the Alliance Awards 2021 for her work developing anti-racist practice and supporting equality of educational outcomes for students who experience racial discrimination.

The Alliance Awards 2021, organised by University Alliance, recognise and celebrate the hard work and dedication of those working in professional and technical universities in the UK.

Principal Lecturer Student Experience Dr Louise Taylor (Bunce) won the Braveheart Award which celebrates individuals who have demonstrated conviction and integrity through their actions.

Since 2016, Dr Taylor has developed research to understand the experiences of students who experience racial discrimination in higher education. Collaborating with social work students who have experienced racism, Dr Taylor developed discussion groups to promote solidarity and empower the students to voice their experiences and influence change.

She has also developed practical guidance to help educators support students who experience racism and other forms of discrimination, and ensure inclusion in their teaching. Dr Taylor continues to champion the importance of white allies and has reflected on her experiences of developing anti-racist practice in an Advance HE blog.

Of her award win, Dr Taylor said: “I’m honoured to win this award, but the recognition should go first to my students - they have been open and honest about their experiences of racism and this has guided me towards developing anti-racist pedagogy.

“I also want to recognise the dedication of my colleagues in social work, and others across Oxford Brookes and the sector, who are doing this work to create inclusive and anti-racist practices. It’s vital that we continue to work towards eliminating the inequitable degree-awarding gap (whereby white students are more likely to receive a first class or upper-second class degree compared to Black students), and improve understanding of diversity and inclusion among all of our students.”

The winners of the six awards were announced during a live online ceremony on Wednesday 23rd June, and each winner will receive a specially commissioned University Alliance medal.

University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said that all finalists represent the talent, work ethic and success found in the UK’s professional and technical universities: “The last year has not been without its challenges, but Alliance universities have been at the forefront of navigating and supporting their institutions and communities through these difficulties, and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate the hard work and dedication of colleagues from across the Alliance at our awards.

“I am pleased that through these awards we can recognise those individuals and teams who have gone the extra mile and demonstrated those behaviours and values that we as a group of universities feel are important.”